In August, John & I announced that Baby #4 would be joining our family in March 2019. We are so excited to add to our family and to give the triplets another sibling. I have loved watching their sibling interactions from the start and I cannot wait to see them with a younger sibling.
A few friends have asked if we needed IVF again or what we did this time. Truthfully, we had decided after the triplets we would never go through fertility treatments again. We had 3 healthy kids and that process is awful, both physically and mentally. We also no longer have the insurance coverage that we did the last time and it would have been on us to fund the process this time. We knew we’d love to have another baby but going through more IVF was off the table. I think we both sort of settled that we’d try on our own at some point but had also accepted that having another was unlikely.
When they were just under 18 months we decided to give it a shot. The age gap would be about 2 years at that point and we didn’t know how long it would take, or if ever. If it were to be easy, we didn’t want to get too far from the baby stage that we were still in with our triplets. We decided not to stress about it. We figured there were no next steps, so there was no reason to make it anything stressful. Just give it to God and if we were meant to have more without science then he would provide. And two months in, he did. In the midst of taking the whatever happens approach, we went on two vacations, one to Arkansas and one to Memphis and our kids contracted Hand Foot and Mouth. Thomas had a febrile seizure from it on our vacation to Memphis, and we had not once thought about another baby. Life was crazy!
We had been home from Memphis and the kids were still recovering from HFM when I got that positive test. I couldn’t even believe my eyes. I wasn’t even sure it was real because I’ve never had a positive test that wasn’t following an IVF transfer! I laid in my bed for about 10 minutes after taking it in, I called my OB office (the same one who delivered the triplets) and they were so happy for me. I was so glad to be calling an office where I had a history. They sent me for a blood draw the next day and sure enough…I was pregnant, on our own, with no need for science.
I have no idea what solved our problems. There is no clear answer as to why one baby (or babies) would take so long and so much intervention to conceive and another would just come along and surprise us. All I know is what we had been up to in our lives leading up to trying.
First, being pregnant can sometimes cure (but not always) unexplained infertility. Just the act of having a successful pregnancy could have been enough to fix the problem, whatever it was.
Secondly, in the spring of 2018, I had begun learning more about healthier eating and cleaning up toxins from our lives. I began buying organic fruits and vegetables, chicken, and beef. We also changed all of our cleaning products over to green cleaners and learned about Shaklee vitamins. I began taking them as well as the kiddos. I can’t say for certain that any of those things fixed the issues that we had with the triplets but I can say I don’t think they hurt.
The third thing and the ones that make me a little annoyed at the truth of it is that we didn’t stress. With our first attempts to have a baby we heard a lot of “don’t worry about it,” “it’ll happen when you are not trying so hard,” “don’t stress,” etc. and of course, this time, it happened when we weren’t trying hard, and we weren’t worrying or stressing. I will say that when there is truly an infertility issue, those things are not going to help. You can do all the yoga and relaxation you want but if there is something biological going on, relaxing is not going to fix it. But I do think that a relaxed attitude coupled with changes to our diets and environment as well as having a successful pregnancy worked together to make it an easy road this time.
It’s sort of a weird feeling to be on both sides of the fence now – infertility and IVF journey and a baby that came to us easily. I am still 1 in 8, we still beat the odds and overcame infertility to have our first three kiddos. I’ll never forget any of it, and will always be grateful to doctors and nurses at a clinic for our first children. At the same time, it’s a breath of fresh air to conceive a baby without any question in my mind that things went correctly and no doctor or embryologist could have made an error. Even though it’s unlikely that an error could have been made, it’s still a thought than an IVF mama has in the way back of their mind.
As I write this, I am 30 weeks and 2 days pregnant with this “bonus” baby and we are starting to get ourselves prepared. We’ve washed up gear from both the boys and girls, cleaned up the bassinet and pack n play, and John painted the spare bedroom so we can begin to prepare it as a nursery.
We’ve decided not to find out the gender of this baby this time. We had such a surprise with the triplets so we felt like the fun surprise this time would be to not know the gender. We’re really looking forward to waiting until the birth!
I’m also working with my OB on having a VBAC this time, rather than another c-section, so we’ve had some other planning for this pregnancy. It’s been interesting being pregnant with a single baby that is not high risk because I’ve felt like I barely have any appointments. It almost feels like the first time all over because it’s so different than last time. Hopefully, it stays this calm for the next 9 weeks or so and I have a successful delivery and a healthy baby!